Coach Parties of Visitors marvel at Viaduct.

Following a presentation at Nottingham University, the Association for Industrial Archaeology made a visit to Bennerley Viaduct as part of their National Conference. A coachload of delegates enjoyed a ploughmans lunch in the Bridge Inn followed by a tour around, under and on the viaduct. The association played a key role in saving the viaduct back in the 1980s when British Rail wanted to demolish the structure. The members were really appreciative of all the work which has been done by the Friends and Volunteers to bring the structure back into use.

In addition, a heritage holiday company also visited the viaduct on the same day. They were given a guided tour of the viaduct. It is satisfying to see the viaduct becoming a destination for those interested in our industrial heritage.DSC_0444


Critical Repairs and Access given the go ahead by Viaduct’s owners.

Railway Paths Ltd, the sister charity to Sustrans are the owners of the viaduct. In July 2018, the board of RPL have agreed to fund the cost of critical repairs to the structure and create access on to the deck of the viaduct. RPL are in the process of raising the necessary funds to enable the repairs to take place and for a deck to be installed. Access to the deck will be via a ramp on the Erewash Canal end and via steps at the Awsworth end. The work should be put out to contract in Spring 2019. The work will cost somewhere in the region of £0.5m. The Friends of Bennerley Viaduct welcome this development. The image above shows repairs being made to  pier base three using traditional lime mortar.

Friends Group at History Event.

Drop in to St Mary’s Church in Ilkeston Market Square on Bank Holiday weekend where the IDLHS will be taking a different slant on the history of Ilkeston and district.  Look out for the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct display among the many other topics presented. The church is worth a look too. 

Continue reading “Friends Group at History Event.”

Joint Press Release from FoBV, RPL and Sustrans.


The Friends of Bennerley Viaduct, Railway Paths Limited and Sustrans have recently held a productive meeting to start the process of identifying possible options for a project, or projects, to achieve the aim of opening up the viaduct for public access and creating a link across it between the Erewash and Nottingham canals.  All three organisations remain committed to seeing the viaduct brought back into use as a walking and cycling route, but recognise that this may take a number of years and that it will need to be achieved in an incremental way depending on the availability of suitable funding.  Over the next few months the partners will explore the options that were tabled at the workshop, and assess their feasibility. These options include critical repairs to the structure, the creation of a path and the enhancement of the area underneath the viaduct, the construction of a ramp at the western end, steps at the eastern and the installation of decking.

The results of this work will then be submitted to the Railway Paths Limited Board and Sustrans Executive to seek approval for the implementation of a project.

Ongoing support from the community for the viaduct is integral to its future and all three organisations would like to acknowledge the value of the time and efforts that local people have invested, and hope that this partnership can continue.


Chairman’s Report 2017-2018



If the period covered by this report had ended with the calendar year on 31 December it would make for very different reading. It would show twelve months of effort, growth and partnership culminating in the achievement of very significant progress towards our ultimate aim – restoring the Bennerley Viaduct and bringing it back into use as a walking and cycling route. As it is, the final quarter of the year 2017-2018 has been marked by disappointment and some anger.  The reasons for this are well known to members and to the general public, and I will return to the topic at the end of this report.

Let me focus first of all on the multitude of activities and considerable achievements of our group since April 2017. Continue reading “Chairman’s Report 2017-2018”

Message from the Chairman

A message from the Chairman

Members are reminded that the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct Annual General Meeting will be held on Monday, April 16, at 7pm at the Gate Inn, Awsworth.   

Members will have the opportunity to stand for a place on the committee and to propose resolutions.  These must be done in advance of the meeting and full details of how to proceed will be sent to all members by Monday 26 March with a formal notice of the AGM. 

This is an important time for the Friends and for the future of the viaduct now that Sustrans have decided not to resubmit the original project to HLF. Any future project will be led by Railway Paths Ltd. in partnership with Sustrans and FoBV.  Your committee is in discussions with RPL about the possible first stage of an incremental project, and more details will be given at the AGM. 

If we are to play our full part and have an influence on future developments we need to stay strong and active as a group. Please try to attend the AGM and give some thought as to how you can help – whether by standing for the committee or offering your time, skills and ideas in other ways.

I look forward to seeing you on the 16 April.

Jeff Wynch